Tick tock, tick tock. I don’t know about the rest of you out there in Phillies Nation, but this clock of mine feels like it is getting slower and slower. Thanks to Twitter, I can find a daily countdown to when pitchers(the aces) and catchers(Chooch) report for Spring Training. We are at 15 days and counting to a season that could be, and should be, historic. I don’t need to tell you why.
Phillies pitcher Roy Halladay found his name mentioned amongst some pretty good company this week. He crashed into the Bloomberg Businessweek’s “Power 100″ list for most powerful athletes. Previously unranked on the list last year, Halladay broke in at number 30. Player stats factored into voting as well as potential earnings, endorsements and other off the field factors. Ryan Howard was again on the list year at number 67. Good for Howard for making the list again, but it was a huge drop off from last year’s list where he was listed at number 14.
This is a great recognition for Halladay who had been playing in baseball boredom up in Toronto for so long. Nowadays it is hard to not know who he is. He pitches in one of the most sports-passionate cities, threw a perfect game, notched a postseason no-hitter and won the Cy Young award for last season’s best pitcher.
Cole Hamels took great strides this past season making adjustments to his pitching approach and we were all there to reap the benefits. Hamels looked calmer on the mound, less frustrated and was almost back to his 2008 form. PN’s Paul Boye took an in depth look, with an assist from Baseball Analytics, as to what changed. Also, Phillies Nation would like to congratulate Paul on accepting the position of Toronto Blue Jays Minor League Video Scout! Congrats Boy-e.
Phillies farmhands Domonic Brown and Jonathan Singleton made their way onto MLB.com’s Top 50 prospect list. Brown, who was called up last season is well known to Phillies fans and will be competing for the starting right field position come spring training, was ranked fourth on the list behind the Angel’s Mike Trout, the Ray’s Jeremy Hellickson, and the National’s wonder boy Bryce Harper. Singleton is a guy you should know. He hit 14 home runs last year in Single A-Lakewood and will see time in left field this upcoming season; he has played only first base in his career for the Phillies organization. He came in at number 30 on the list. Singleton will be very exciting to watch as he develops. In 104 games he had 77 RBIs and only committed four errors. Oh and he is only 19 years-old.
The Phillies have a lot of great prospects putting their time in down on the farm. PN’s resident minor league guy Jay Floyd has done an incredible job counting down these guys in his Prospect Nation Top 25. Don’t worry, he isn’t done yet. This week we met Domingo Santana, J.C. Ramirez, and Scott Mathieson. You will probably recognize Ramirez’s name; he was one of the players acquired by the Phillies from Seattle in the original Cliff Lee trade. If you missed any of the past rankings you can check them out at Prospect Nation.
Phillies prospect Moose Mattair is checking in again on his journey back to baseball. This week he talks about Miami, those first couple workouts and getting back to Clearwater. Check out all his progress in his third installment of Moose Tracks.
The Phillies’ front office seems to have some interest in the services of right handed journeyman Jason Grilli. Grilli has played for five different clubs in eight years after being the fourth overall pick in the 1997 draft out of Seton Hall. Grilli is 18-18 for his career with a 4.74 ERA. At 34 years-old, the Phillies might hope he still has something left in the tank. If they do sign him, he would most likely head to Lehigh Valley and be a fill in if the bullpen runs into the injury bug. That is, of course, if the Phillies actually do sign him. For all of you that enjoy following athletes on twitter, Grilli regularly tweets and seems to be a real nice guy. You can follow him at Jason Grilli.
We started this week asking the readers what was the most surprising free agent signing of the offseason? Overwhelmingly, 70% of readers said the Phillies signing Cliff Lee back surprised them the most. With that said, I would like to end the week with another question. Your question. Do you have any burning questions you want answered by the Phillies Nation crew? Ask away and we might just pick one for our next Roundtable discussion.
Until then, good luck to all the Eagle’s playing in tonight’s NFL Pro Bowl.